I know that's a horrible title for a post but I'm obligated to put "-Gate" at the end of every post title that deals with a controversial decisions or events. I hate doing it, it's cheesy and played out, but my hands are tied. It's the rules, for more examples look at the AP re-cap entitled "Smudgegate" and Karl Ravech referring to tonight as "Dirtgate".
Here's my take on the events tonight:
A couple of months ago Rogers was struggling to the point that Lynn Henning writer/jackass for the Detroit News called for him to be replaced by some guy named Chad Durbin. So Leyland, seeing that his pitcher is feeling a little down, puts a bunch of pine tar in a jar, slaps a label on it that reads "Pitchzyte, guaranteed to increase the break on your pitches by 6 inches", gives it to The Gambler and tells him that if he smears some on his palm before each start he'll be unhittable. Rogers, who is desperate to try anything to get back to his first half form tries it out, pitches a great game against the White Sox, and turns into the Tigers best starter down the stretch and through the first two rounds of the playoffs heading into tonights game. That's when Fox announcers Tim McCarver and Joe Buck drew attention to the magic smudge on Rogers throwing hand during the first inning which lead to a Cardinals clubhouse minion to slither down into the dugout to inform Il Duce La Russa. Il Duce in turn informed the umpires who convened and told Rogers to wash the substance off his hands. Rogers retired down the dugout steps to a sink in the walkway washed the magic substance off his palm, wiped his brow, grabbed both sides of the sink and dropped his head, dejected. What was he going to do? Was he going to revert back to the horrendous pitcher he was before he received the jar?
"It was pine tar." A raspy voice said behind him.
Rogers was baffled, turned around and saw his diminutive manager standing in the concourse shadows.
"In the jar Kenny, it was only ordinary pine tar. I saw your confidence was down so I gave you a jar of pine tar and deceived you into believing it was something magical. But it wasn't, it had no effect, all the success you've had since August, the scoreless inning streak, everything. It's been you, Kenny, not the substance. You. Now go and pitch the game of your life" Leyland concluded.
Anyways regardless of whatever was on his hand, mud/pine tar/fecal matter (I'm leaning towards the latter), Rogers pitched out of his mind tonight.......again. Rogers, who had never made it out of the fifth inning in any of his postseason starts before this year has now turned in 23 straight scoreless innings. Wow. It's events like this that re-affirm my belief that this Tigers team is destined to win the World Series this season. Here are a few more quick observations from tonights game.
1: It's really annoying having the Cardinals announcers calling the Series for Fox. According to Buck and McCarver Albert Pujols can do no wrong, and when he does mess up it's not his fault. If Pujols wants to recklessly charge a bunt in front of the pitchers mound by sliding in front of Weaver and attempting to barehand the ball that leads to an error then it's Weavers fault because he got in Pujols way. Pujols runs half ass on every ground ball but it's ok because he has a bad hamstring and it's not worth going all out in the cold weather. It wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't coming from Buck, who seems to take pleasure in killing other star athletes who he doesnt perceive as giving their all, (i.e. Randy Moss' fake mooning and pointing out every half hearted blocking attempt or route by Moss), but he looks out for his St. Louis boys. I can't believe I'm saying this but I almost wish Steve Lyons was calling these games. Speaking of Lyons he must be dying at home wanting to make fun of Hispanic players. I can just see him sitting on his couch at home talking into a microphone by himself watching Game 7 and saying things like "Endy Chavez just stole that homerun from Rolen like Lou Pinella took my wallet."
2: So far the only player who looks completely overmatched by being in the World Series is Brandon Inge. Of course I picked him as my sleeper World Series MVP and predicted a Brooks Robinson-esque Series defining defensive play. So what's Inge done? A couple of basehits, a slew of strikeouts, and 3 errors in two games. I am the worst jinx ever. Seriously go back, I predicted Guillen to win the ALCS MVP, in which he hit about .000081 and said it was great for the Tigers to be injury free hours before Zumaya got hurt. A Tiger could run over numerous black cats, while driving under a ladder for a photoshoot for the SI cover on Friday the 13th and still have better luck then if I write about them.
I would write more tonight but I'm completely drained. Tonight was the first Tigers World Series victory I've ever witnessed and it was amazing. I can't wait for the next three.